There is a saying that a meal without wine is called breakfast – however, this festive season, Slanghoek Cellar is challenging convention by encouraging consumers to indulge in a sweet start to the day by serving wines with brunch!
This winery, situated along the picturesque Breedekloof Wine Route, has a focused approach to winemaking which aims to provide wine enthusiasts with top class drinking no matter which wine variety is used or the style it is made in. In line with this mandate, Slanghoek Cellar has been producing a range of highly enjoyable sweet wines – all thanks to a winemaking approach that values balance above anything else. Comments Cellarmaster Pieter Carstens: “In the Slanghoek Cellar we always strive to achieve a fine balance between acidity, residual sugar – or sweetness – and fruit purity. This allows for wines with ample finesse that are highly drinkable, and which are delicate enough to enjoy with ‘lighter meals’ – such as breakfast.”
This thinking inspired a food-and-wine pairing with a difference, with wines in the Slanghoek range paired to dishes more often associated with brunch – or dessert. “We wanted to showcase that our range of wines, which include sweet wines to drier, more serious styles, can all find a place at your festive table this season,” says Carstens.
To illustrate this thinking, Slanghoek Cellar paired its wines to dishes at Cape Town’s hottest new restaurant (as voted at the recent Eat Out awards), Foxcroft restaurant in Constantia.
Slanghoek Cuvée Brut (Vonkel), a dry and delicious Sparkling Wine with a fine and delicate mousse, notes of pear on the nose and a crisp palate, was paired to ‘Vonkel-poached oysters’ to illustrate the wine’s saline edge and layered complexities – something that is unexpected at a price-point of only R51.00 a bottle. According to Carstens, the Slanghoek Vonkel was made to be enjoyed “throughout the day”.
Slanghoek Vin Doux, an aromatic sparkling wine, was paired to a rose and coconut panna cotta, which allowed for the wine’s sweet berry charm to shine, without detracting from the crisp acidity and refreshing quality of the wine. Comments Carstens: “this is a delicious Sparkling Wine that is especially suited to warm summer months, and a fine example of how a finely balanced wine can win over even the toughest crowd”. This wine retails for R51.00 ex-cellar.
To illustrate the winery’s more ‘serious’ portfolio, the Slanghoek Legends barrel-fermented Chenin Blanc, was paired with Confit Pork Belly, a combination that seamlessly married the richer quality of the pork with the full-bodied texture of the wine. Said Carstens: “Although this wine is serious enough to enjoy with ‘heavier’ dishes, this versatile wine will pair equally well with a fresh duck and orange salad.” This ‘flagship white’ retails for R190 ex-cellar.
Slanghoek Vinay Rosé was matched with a deconstructed toasted croissant with compressed strawberries, the acidity which perfectly counterbalanced the sweetness in the wine, highlighting the backbone of the wine – a fresh layer of red fruit. This wine, said Carstens, “is a perfect match with anything with a berry base, as it highlights the sweet delicacy of the wine.” You can buy this wine for R32.00 ex-cellar.
In conclusion, the Slanghoek Private Selection Crème de Chenin and Slanghoek Noble Late Harvest were matched to a selection of cheeses. Both wines are elegant, natural sweet wines with distinct notes of honey and muscat. Said Carstens, “these wines have refreshingly sweet and crisp palates with a fruity bouquet and a lingering aftertaste, the hints of botrytis make them perfect partners for cheese with a distinct flavour – like goats’ or blue cheese.” These wines trade for R45.00 (for 500ml) and R71.00 (for 375ml) respectively.
To date, Slanghoek wines were only available for purchase via the cellar’s website, as well as liquor stores in metropoles in the Western Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape, but a recent deal with fine wine distributors PB Liquor Merchants now availability of Slanghoek’s portfolio of wines in major retailers nationwide – and not only limited to metropoles – such as Tops, Makro, Ultra Liquors and Liquor City, to name a few.